The National Conference took to the streets in Srinagar protesting against the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to implement the controversial National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the state.
The party raised slogans against the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his government. The march was stopped by the police from proceeding to the Lal Chowk.
Resistance by many leaders led to the mass arrest.
Protesters were holding banners and placards, having anti-government slogans demanding the revocation of NFSA.
They also demanded punishment for village defence committee member involved in the killing of NC member and scheduled power cuts in Srinagar.
Youth National Conference leader Salman Sagar described it as a move to implement union laws in the state by bypassing the state legislature.
The National Conference has described the government’s decision as shocking and alleged that it was a sign of PDP’s camouflaged understanding with the BJP to completely erode the state’s special status.
While separatists have also lodged their strong protest against this bill, which has added further woes to the government, they have termed this bill ‘anti-people.’
Chairman of moderate Hurriyat faction, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq threatened to launch a ‘mass agitation’ if the state government goes ahead with the implementation of controversial NFSA in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a congregational gathering ahead of Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, he said that this bill is anti-people, anti-poor and they reject it. He warned the government to revoke the Act in the state immediately.
“If they do not, we will launch a mass agitation against this bill,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that the people don’t know how the bill was approved and now government wants to implement it.
Hurriyat Conference (G) led by Syed Ali Geelani also slammed the government and said public anger against the implementation of NFSA in the state was justified.
A spokesperson of Hurriyat Conference (G) said that whatever are the reasons and purpose of the implementation of NFSA in the state, the reservations of the public in this regard cannot be described as meaningless.
“The public reaction against this act is genuine and use of brutal force against these protests is highly condemnable,” the spokesperson has said.
Grand Mufti of Kashmir Mufti Bashir-ud-din has said the Act was going to deprive people from subsidized ration.
“It won’t benefit the poor and downtrodden,” he said.
Several other religious and mainstream parties have opposed the bill and have sought its revocation stating that it will deprive people from getting ration.
However the CAPD minister Zulfkar Ali said that it is only handful of people has opposed the Act, people who were being forced by leaders of the Opposition to come onto the streets.
He also accused some leaders of launching a “misinformation” campaign on NFSA to mislead the people and “bar them from taking benefit of this holistic scheme.”
Earlier, the state’s chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said there is no need of a legislation and he called it is a development Act.